China, so far, is the largest outbound tourism country in the world. During 2015, there were approximately 120 million Chinese citizens that travelled abroad – from that were 70 million tourists. There was a total of USD $215 billion (£166 billion GBP) spent in 2015, which is 53% higher than the year before.

When we look in to the preferences of luxury travellers who were born after the 1980s, – younger generation travellers, aged between 18 to 36, who have over RMB 39 million (£4.5 million GBP) in wealth and spend over RMB 200,000 (£23,000 GBP) annually on travel and tourism. They are well versed in the art of travelling and therefore do it in not only style but also multiple times a year.

These travellers, on average, have been to 13 countries and have been abroad 3.3 times in the last year for approximatively 25 days, they are strongly interested in technology and innovation which could enrich their travel experiences.

Although around 55% of these travellers don’t have a set time point for travel during the year, Chinese National Day, Chinese New Year and summer vacation still are the most popular periods for travel.

Besides Leisure travel, the younger luxury travellers are now seeking for more diverse experiences, such as adventure holidays, polar explorations, road trip etc.

Reasons for travel

When obtaining essential travel information and making destination decisions, these young generation main source information through WeChat, friends and travel consultants. And from third party applications such as Ctrip, Qunar and Tuniu, which are the top travel sites in China.

Mobile phones are key for the young and wealthy travellers, they use phone to get on WeChat (79%), surf the internet (61%), view photos (58%), and shop online (56%). In terms of gender differences, male travellers are more likely to seek information from general websites, whereas female travellers prefer to obtain information through WeChat.


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Authors: Evonne Guan / Joseph Massey